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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2234..

MR BARR (continuing):

education system for such a model. I state again that that does not mean that we walk away from the college system-of course we do not-but surely there is room for both.

Planning-land releases

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Will the minister advise the Assembly on the steps being taken by the ACT government to address the recent increase in demand in the ACT's commercial and residential land markets?

MR CORBELL: As members will know, the ACT is currently experiencing an upswing in the level of demand in both the commercial and residential development sectors, particularly in relation to requirements for land. Over the past couple of months since the federal budget we have seen a significant increase in demand in both the housing market and the commercial market for additional land supply. This trend has emerged since the federal budget, and I am pleased to confirm to members today that the government is responding in a timely way to this increased level of demand.

I announced earlier today that the government will be increasing the level of greenfield land supply in the city to accommodate approximately 1,200 residential blocks this financial year. This is a significant increase-almost a 25 per cent increase-on the program initially indicated a couple of months ago, which was developed prior to the federal government's budget. We know that the federal government's budget will see an expansion of the commonwealth public service of between 3,000 and 5,000 new staff. Combining that with the sustained level of interest from people based interstate and looking to move to Canberra, partly as a result of the government's Live in Canberra campaign, for the first time in over a decade we are seeing a net gain in interstate migration to the ACT. We need to respond to all of these demands.

In the coming financial year over 1,200 residential blocks in new greenfield areas will be released to the housing market to help provide sufficient supply. We will also see a level of supply met through private redevelopment activity in the city-we anticipate about a thousand dwelling sites. Importantly, the government will be moving to improve the level of supply for commercial development in the city as well.

I address, first of all, the issue of residential land supply. The 1,200 dwelling sites I have announced today include the development of the new suburb of Forde, which will start coming on line later this calendar year. The new suburb of Franklin will also be commenced this year in Gungahlin to help meet demand. We will also see completion of the Wells Station Estate in the suburb of Harrison. Finally, release will occur in the last remaining development site in the Tuggeranong Valley with the commencement of the West Bonython project, which will provide over 200 dwelling sites in that part of the city.

So the government are demonstrating, through this announcement today, our preparedness and our ability to respond to increases in demand and to provide additional land to meet that demand. It is something that those opposite failed to do in all their years in government. They did not have a program ready to respond to demand when the market changed. I am pleased to say that this government has that ability.

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